Monthly Archives: February 2022

Review & Giveaway: Out of Temper by Amber Royer


Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 3
Categories: Cozy Mystery / Women Sleuth / Romance 
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: February 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 264 pages 
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Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand has been the scene of two murders – both of which she has been instrumental in helping solve. So when she gets invited to demo her chocolate skills aboard a cruise ship sailing out of the local port, she’s excited at the chance to get away from the shop long enough to regain her equilibrium. She even brings her best friend along, and makes plans for time at the spa. But when she gets on board, she finds out that she’s been booked for a mystery-themed cruise, and said best friend, Autumn, has to finally deal with the real reasons she quit writing mysteries. Only – if that wasn’t stressful enough – it doesn’t take long before there’s a real murder on the cruise, and someone Felicity knows becomes the prime suspect. When said suspect asks her for help, she can’t exactly say no, can she?
Felicity finds herself surrounded by cruise goers who all had connections to the victim – and finds that both Logan (her business partner, whom she recently kissed) and Arlo (the cop who was once Felicity’s first boyfriend, before she moved away from Galveston) are dealing with the case until more official help can arrive. How will Felicity survive the ensuing awkwardness?

One thing that helps: the retired police dog turned therapy dog she meets on board. Satchmo helps Felicity deal with being back on the water after tragedy in her past – and also helps her uncover a vital clue to the case. Can Felicity unmask the killer and keep a friend from being framed before all the suspects leave the ship?

Out of Temper by Amber Royer is the third book in the Bean to Bar Mysteries series, but it is the second book in the series that I have read. After reading and thoroughly enjoying the first book, Grand Openings Can Be Murder, I knew that I had to get my paws on this one when presented with the opportunity to review it. I just wish that I had realized that I had not yet read the second book, 70% Dark Intentions, before cracking this one.

But that’s okay, because a good writer can fill you in so that you’re not floundering around confused, no matter what book you pick up in the series. And Royer is an excellent writer. She has fulfilled my expectations of a fun read filled with delicious chocolates, adorable furry sidekicks, colorful characters, and a conjecture that is tantalizingly just out of reach. Admittedly, the mystery in the first book had been easy to solve, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around why the killer did it. In this book, the victim wasn’t a cup of tea, so it wasn’t hard to imagine the many plausible scenarios that could have gone down.

Yet Royer had me convinced at least three times that I had finally nabbed the killer, and I was wrong each and every time. Just when you think that Felicity is about to uncover the final piece of the puzzle that will confirm your hunch, new clues will come to light that will send you spinning in a completely different direction. The intricate web of circumstances that ties this book to the other two is what really excites me about reading each installment of the series. Not to mention, I am dying to find out which love interest our amateur sleuth will end up with. I’m Team Logan all the way, just in case you were wondering.

I hope that Book Four has Felicity flying around in a plane with Logan to some exotic place to find obscure cacao beans and/or flavor combinations. I also would like to see tighter copy editing in the future. There were quite a few typos throughout the book. Maybe not enough to distract from a great mystery, but they were there and quite noticeable.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery read. As someone who usually savors the details in books, I am happy to report that the only place that Royer holds back a little is on gore. Other than that, prepare to drool a little when Felicity demos chocolate making… or perhaps when we catch Arlo or Logan sending longing glances in her direction. Either way, settle somewhere cozy with a snack or yummy beverage and enjoy the book.

Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She is also the author of Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook for Novelists, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach. Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs. If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.


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